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Interview: “Living on One Dollar”

April 22nd, 2013 by Kristin Knox

“A lot of films have been made around poverty, a lot of guilt-based films, and we thought we could tell this story in a new way that was really tailored to the millennial generation.”

We spoke with filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci about their 8-week experiment in rural Guatemala living on $1 per day, the typical income for this extremely impoverished region. Their inspirational documentary, Living on One Dollar, follows their encounters with hunger, parasites, and the generous local community as they strive to understand first-hand what life is like below the poverty line.

On first entering the Guatemalan community:

“We were four Americans coming into a village where we didn’t have any connections, trying to figure out how to survive, and the kids would come up and just stare at us, watching for hours. It was the kids who really bridged the gap between us and the rest of the community.”

On their living arrangements:

“We lived in a small mud hut and slept right on a small pad on the dirt floor, with two blankets between the four of us. The worst part was that the dirt floor had fleas, and you can see in the film where we’re just covered in red bites. There was one morning where I [Chris] woke up with both giardia [a parasite] and E. coli, and we didn’t know if we had enough money to budget for food, let alone the cost of medicine.”

On farming to help make ends meet:

“We wanted to simulate starting a business in this community, so we took out our own microfinance loan and worked during the day as radish farmers. Trying to do 8 hours of manual labor when we’d only eaten one small bowl of rice and beans, which was all that we could afford, and when we hadn’t had a good night’s sleep, was just debilitating, both physically and mentally.”

On the value of microfinance loans:

“One of the most powerful stories we heard was from Rosa, who is featured in the film. In sixth grade, she had to drop out of school to help feed her family, but she always dreamed of becoming a nurse. As an adult, she took out a $200 microfinance loan to start her own weaving business and was able to send herself back to school with the profits. A $200 loan provided this opportunity for her to empower herself and bring herself closer to her dream.”

On what they hope viewers will take away from their documentary:

“What we hope people walk away with is to believe that small efforts can really make a big impact on the life of someone living in extreme poverty, and to believe that we can all make a difference.”

Living on One Dollar will be available exclusively in the U.S. through Hulu and Hulu Plus from April 22-May 3 to coincide with “Live Below the Line”, an anti-poverty awareness campaign encouraging people around the world to try living for five days on $1.50 per day for food and water.

Visitors to Chris and Zach’s nonprofit site livingonone.org can get involved by learning about or donating directly to microfinance organizations that provide loans in impoverished areas. Schools, churches, and other community groups worldwide can also book a personalized Living on One Dollar screening with the filmmakers to discuss what we can all do to make a difference.

Last comment: Aug 20th 2014 9 Comments
  • mczizelquinn says:

    I am not impressed at all! i should be able to access ALL the episodes not just the recent ones. Im so happy i still have netflix! and the ads are lame! back to netflix i go!!!

  • HI Bebe, thanks for posting. I’m sorry that you’ve found out site frustrating, and I’d be happy to help! You can still sort shows and movies A-Z on our website by heading to ( http://www.hulu.com/tv/all ) for TV shows, and ( http://www.hulu.com/movies/all ) for movies. This feature is also available within our app on a number of other devices. If you’d like help navigating a specific device, please get back to us at ( hulu.com/support ) with the name of the device so we can discuss it more in length. I hope this helps!

    Best, Alexa, Hulu Support

  • Bebe Hunt says:

    Why can I no longer access the A-Z listings for television shows. It just disappeared! Very aggravated. Am thinking about moving to Netflix after having been with Hulu for 3+ years.

  • pissed customer says:

    HULU! Why do you have movies you can’t even watch? Stop showing me all these cool movies Miramax has that I can’t view. Really? Get your things together and focus on actually playing movies and shows you still have up. You would do soooo much better if half the movies you can browse were actually playable, but no. Instead “this video is no longer available for playback”. Seriously?

  • Anthony C. says:

    you guy need to input more language options in your titles almost every title on here that are available on dvd and blueray have English, Spanish etc. in less improved on that I would not even think about paying a cent for all that I would just stick with Netflix or youtube.please look in to this matter you have some great movies they should be in joyed by all race backgrounds.not just one please fix it asap if you do that you may even have more people tuning in maybe even more then Netflix.

  • steve says:

    hulu, heres a great idea, lets watch commercials, and break for a 120 second movie?

  • jeremy says:

    Hulu PLUS seems to give one the idea that you get more for the money. MORE ADDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No ability to fast forward-REALLY!!!!!!-. You MUST watch the ADDS but can fast forward through the ACTUAL SHOW YOU WANTED AND PAID FOR. Yes I’m just a little annoyed. What no Hulu Ultra where you CAN SKIP THE e n d l e s s A D D S!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey I love the content you folks offer but the time I spend watching the ENDLESS ADDS I want back and added to the rest of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you getting the idea that some of us are sick of the A D D S? You know the advertisements, the waste of time strewn throughout TV shows,the scourge of any and all media. Never will I be back,never will I recommend. TILL THE ADDS STOP, OR can be fast forwarded .

  • Hi Tito, thank you for posting, and good question! A lot of people wonder why we have ads in our paid Hulu Plus service. Hulu Plus is unique in that we offer current-season television programming that’s available as soon as one day after air in most cases. This content is expensive to acquire, so our advertisers greatly help us cut down the cost for our users. The major “plus” that is included in the Hulu Plus service is definitely the ability to watch on an array of devices (not just the computer), as well as the access to more episodes, and HD content. I hope this helps clarify a bit.

    Best, Alexa, Hulu Support

  • Tito Cruz says: